Vault Review: WWE
Legends Sgt. Slaughter

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched any professional wrestling, so I never really feel compelled to buy any of the figures.  Well that all ended last weekend when I strolled into my local Target to find Mattel’s WWE Legends Sgt. Slaughter on clearance.  And you know what?  He’s a pretty good figure.

The professional wrestling phase of my life happened when I was about twelve.  It didn’t last for too long and was soon replaced with super heroes and comic books, but I do remember that time fondly.  So when I saw the Sergeant was only three dollars, a perfect storm of nostalgia and a bargain took over.  It’s not just because Slaughter was a wrestler though.  If that were the case I would have also picked up Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (which I almost did).  No, Slaughter was also a Real American Hero, literally.  I always loved his GI Joe character, and the chance to own a six inch version of him for a very reasonable price won out in the end.

Sgt. Slaughter’s look is pretty perfect.  He’s wearing one of the many variations of his classic wrestling outfit.  I was really impressed with his head sculpt.  Slaughter’s got a very unique look not only to his face, but his whole head.  There’s his trademark grimacing snarl, and that jutting chin to account for.  So it was really nice to see just how well the sculptor captured his likeness.

His coloring is nicely done as well.  His outfit is the familiar red, white, and blue.  I would have preferred his camouflage, or his USA shirt, but this is fine also.  Most of his body is molded in the color it needs to be, so there aren’t a lot of issues.  There is a very small amount of slop on his upper chest where the white of the shirt meets the flesh, but it’s hardly noticeable.

One thing that IAT Regular Dayraven has mentioned on various occasions is how nice the articulation is on these WWE Legends figures, and I’m going to have to agree with him.  Slaughter’s got similar articulation you’d expect from Mattel’s other lines like DC or MOTU Classics, but it seems to be implemented better here and in some cases even improved upon.

The ball jointed head is more in line with MOTU as it has a wide range of motion and allows for different expressions.  Slaughter’s also been able to retain his rocker ankles, which the DC line has not.  Then there’re the added improvements like swivel hinge wrists and double jointed knees which were standard on all the WWE Legends figures and not based on a character.  Continue to page 2…

13 thoughts on “Vault Review: WWE
Legends Sgt. Slaughter

  1. Another excellent review, Vault, making me want to hit the Target stores in my area in search of him…darn it! 🙂

    But to your central question, i.e. “How can Mattel do so good on this and so poor on that” (well, that’s what it sounded like to me, OK?), I think it has to do with, sorry to say, priorities of logistics.

    See, Superheros, fantasy action, that’s dead, that’s geek stuff, that’s who the heck cares, right? The wrestling (and ultimate fighting subset) stuff is getting the major placement at retail now. This is what sells to ALL the stores, the Target and K-Mart and Wal*mart and TRU and local hypermarkets and so on and so on. This is getting the push, this is getting PR money. When was the last time you saw a commercial for the DCU figures? never? oh.

    WWE is mainstream. Superheros is niche geek culture.

    It’s stupid, I know. There’s no rational reason that pushing WWE should in any way impact DCU or MOTUC’s development or the logistics of things such as plastic quality or use of joints, and yet, it seems to.

    (It can’t be simply which factory is used. The quality of plastic is its own thing and rationally just can’t be tied to a factory. They use what they’re told to use, not given leeway to just use whatever is handy. I mean, if that IS the way it’s done then how can there be ANY quality assurance?)

    At least that’s the way I kinda look at it because frankly, thinking that some suit at Mattel has the attitude that such things just don’t MATTER because the geeks will buy their geek idols anyway no matter how much it costs or how mis-handled the product is depresses me no end.

  2. “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

    Looks like I’ll be hunting this figure down. $3 for a kick-ass Sarge figure? I’d be stupid not to get it.

  3. The WWE Legends line is really impressive and one of my favorites to collect. At Toys R Us, seeing the Mattel WWE figures next to the JAKKS WWE leftovers & TNA/UFC stuff, it’s almost laughable how superior the Mattel figures are. Figures in scale with each other? Featuring some level of natural human proportion? None of the giant, silly screaming heads? Good paint?? Only negative thing is the price….Elite figures are way too expensive, and the WWE legends are a tad overpriced….but at $15, they’re about par for the course now.

  4. i was going to say zach, 15 in the modern market is fair.

    thanks for shout out vault, and glad you feel i was on the level. i warned you man, the WWE stuff is addicting. i have a large collection of jakks figs, but i keep going “well, mattel did so well w/ that guy, i just have to have him” and keeping buying in. just like two days ago, i bought a sheamus… i’m weak, sue me.

    point to all this is, the WWE stuff is of a quality that rightly ought to outrage DC and MOTUC fans. the joints are solid, the colors make sense, there’s a buck system, but it’s diverse enough to encompass a whole range of body types/sizes…. seriously, if you had the figs… there are maybe 7 or 8 bucks in the WWE stuff? it’s scary! so the little guys, the fat guys, the giants, the medium giants, the squat but built guys… let’s put it this way, i have the road warriors and demolition, and both teams use two different bits to assemble each guy, so next to each other, no two guys look like cookie cutter figs. DCU has been around now how long, and to get up to 8 bucks, you’d have to count CnCs.

    to steve’s point, look at like this… DCU gets how many hours of programming/advertising per week? oh, right, they don’t… and WWE gets a minimum of 5 hours per week on three different channels, and a two web shows. then they top that off w/ pay per views… so they can present new story, new characters, new looks, in a seamless weekly package… DC or marvel aren’t doing that. it’s easy for WWE to drive their product home, and so in that sense, i understand why they get a higher profile and thus, better (and more) product. that doesn’t change the fact that mattel doesn’t seem to apply lessons from product a to production of product b. like, ok, maybe w/ the WWE line, the budget’s higher, so they can afford better plastic… but the WWE elite figs are in EVERY store that sells toys. why can’t DCU hit that level of market saturation? even if various places are ordering MORE wwe product, why can’t dcu even get it’s foot in the door?

  5. I totally hear you about the addicting quality of these figures, dayraven. I had none until I picked up a Ricky Steamboat for $3.24 at Target a couple months ago. I was pretty impressed by him. Then I found a Kamala for the same price…and I was even more impressed. Next came Macho Man in those Allstars packs, and I was done. Now I have every WWE Legends figure, and the Legends Entrance Greats…these guys are great and I really can’t wait to see what they reveal at SDCC. Here’s hoping for an Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog & Big Boss Man.

    1. oh… don’t tempt me w/ an andre… andre would be a must have, grail fig from old… jakks never gave me a deluxe andre, so i’ve tried to be patient and wait for mattel…

  6. “See, Superheros, fantasy action, that’s dead, that’s geek stuff, that’s who the heck cares, right? The wrestling (and ultimate fighting subset) stuff is getting the major placement at retail now. This is what sells to ALL the stores, the Target and K-Mart and Wal*mart and TRU and local hypermarkets and so on and so on. This is getting the push, this is getting PR money. When was the last time you saw a commercial for the DCU figures? never? oh.”

    I pretty much agree with this, but will also point out as a wrestling fan I have never seen and ad for wrestling figs either. I have seen some mention on WWE programing when the line went to Matty but nothing more since. However, the programing (being hyper reality) does produce a dramatic stage to set up tons of stuff and make kids want to jump in with thier favorites.

    Also, something I have noticed since the Jakks days that I think Matty has managed to tap into, there is a nostalgia factor with parents. I have seen parents (Mom’s and Dad’s, but mostly Dad’s) in stores talking about the wrestlers in the classics line like Mr. Wonderful, The Road Warriors, Demolition ect. Matchs, storlines, ect. In a way it was cool and was something I thought could be applied to the various superhero lines as well, but I don’t think anyone has made that type of connection.

    1. I’ve seen ads for the more play friendly figures and several rings on some channel, was it Spike? Maybe it was SyFy. I’m sure someone with better searchengine skills then me could find them on YouTube or some such.

      Gotta mean something where a ‘role play’ toy like a title belt that does stuff (shades of Kamen Rider!) gets SERIOUS product push on a daytime TV show, The Price is Right. Mind, that may not be a Mattel product but it’s surely something that benefits the WWE.

      And there’s a danger. I’m sensing market glut on the local shelves, where once again the scalpers are zooming in, grabbing the ‘chase’ or shortpack figs and leaving lots of peg warming wrestlers. Retailers may soon think the bloom is off that rose and start dumping lines…

      1. they didn’t w/ jakks, and that was definitely the case. the WWE scenario actually works well for that, because, for example, they’d short pack a damien demento and load up on undertakers… but kid’s don’t want damien demento, they don’t know who the fuck that is, while everybody and their brother needs an undertaker. so the scalper gets his, but the kids get theirs. w/ my kids, it’s their top guys only, they love rey and taker and morrison, but they could care less about steamboat or sarge, so even when i buy those figs, they don’t ask to play w/ them (there was an exception to this rule for the LoD and demolition though, as in their ring gear, both teams like executions from mad max, and there’s a universal appeal to those outfits.)

        1. Valid point, but one thing to point out is that in the few times I have looked over WWE offerings it appears that the classics are selling better. Granted I don;t look at them EVERYTIME I go in but there are figs from the classics line I have thought about picking up (and of course money delays that). I have seen Cena, Mysterio, ect. all over (Same versions) but I tend to see a good sell through on the classics (when they are in stock, which seems to be increasingly rare).

          Not sure on this but there is a possiblity that kids could be interested in those based off thier parents watching WWE/F videos. Also WWE does bring those classic wrestlers back once in a while (A few years ago an grey headed Ricky Steamboat had a great match with Chris Jerhicho for example). THis could generate interest as well.

  7. I still don’t understand why Mattel didn’t just make this line 6″. I know they wanted them to be compatible with the JAKKS figures, but since the JAKKS figures were so stupidly over-muscled, they still don’t look in scale to one another.

    I’d buy a lot more of these if they were 1:12th scale.

  8. Like a lot of guys, I’ve gotten into Legends thanks to the Target clearance sale. I have to say though that Sgt. Slaughter is my least favorite of the bunch (funny enough, the Iron Sheik is my favorite — take that, Sarge!). I think we’d be better off if the glasses had been sculpted on. The feet are loose and two small in my opinion, and he just doesn’t feel as solid as the others. Also, the brim of the hat is warped and not easily straightened. This might seem like a nitpick, but he’s a drill sergeant! That brim’s gotta be straight and his boots shiny!

    Been kicking around the idea of painting him to resemble the GI Joe Mail-Away, which was also done back in the LJN days.

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